Man arrested in connection with alleged rape at Oxegen11/07/2008 - 21:02:50
A man was arrested today in connection with the alleged rape of a young woman at the Oxegen music festival.
The woman in her early 20s said she was sexually assaulted last night at the event at Punchestown Racecourse, Co Kildare.
It is understood the alleged incident happened in the staff camping quarters and both the man and the woman were working for sub-contractors at the festival.
A garda spokesman confirmed it was investigating the complaint and that a man was being questioned in custody in connection with the incident.
“There was an alleged sexual assault at the festival. The complainant was a female in her early 20s,” he said.
“It’s under investigation at the moment.”
The man was being held at Naas Garda Station in Co Kildare.
Ellen O’Malley Dunlop, chief executive officer of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, pleaded with festival-goers to be vigilant over the weekend.
“It is very worrying. There was a similar complaint a couple of years ago,” she said.
“We really urge people to stay in groups, don’t go off your own. It is important that people look out for each other, and if they do get into difficulties to seek out help.
“We would also advise people to have their mobile phones with them, make sure it’s charged and you have the numbers of your friends keyed in.”
There are upwards of 200 gardaí on duty every day at this year’s festival, according to the Garda Press Office.
Gardai investigated an allegation that a young woman was raped at the festival two years ago.
More than 80,000 music fans are attending the three-day music event which has attracted some of the biggest names in the industry.
Kings of Leon, REM, The Verve, Rage Against the Machine and Amy Winehouse are among the headline acts chosen by fans to appear on the main stage.
40 young music fans on their way to the festival yesterday had a lucky escape when they were forced to flee a burning bus on the M50.
No-one was injured and they were later collected by an alternative bus arranged by festival promoters, MCD, and brought to Punchestown where they were issued with new tickets.
They were also given access to phones to contact home and provided with camping equipment for the weekend.
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